I’m pretty sure this is the only way a vision board could actually work as advertised. Either you envision something stupid like actually making the vision board as Lil K has, or you set your expectations so low that your board can’t possibly fail.

My vision board is just pictures of people breathing. So far so good.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Secret, allow me to enlighten you: it’s a very goofy book about how the power of positive thinking can essentially force the universe into giving you everything you dream of. Through the book’s concept of the “Law of Attraction” (a “law” that no respectable scientist has actually observed or corroborated) one simply throws spiritual vibrations out into the universe and then sit back as they achieve their dreams and see success roll in. The whole thing is obviously yet another ludicrous New Agey self help gimmick characterized by a lack of any real effort, clearly a big draw for American audiences. People that are really into these sorts of things look at skeptics and can’t seem to understand why anyone could dislike their little ritual. After all, it’s not like the whole process is harming anyone, right?

Wrong. The Secret and programs like it, apart from bilking people out of hard earned money, also push people toward simple solutions that could never possibly work. Like fad diets and miracle cures, just getting through life is never a simple process and achieving success is even more complicated. Reaching your goals, whatever they may be, will always require effort that you probably would rather not put into them if you could help it. That’s a fact of life. Things just aren’t that easy. After all, if success were as simple as visualizing it, everyone would be millionaires.

One of my favorite parts of The Secret lies in the creation of Vision Boards, basically just glorified collages containing images of all the things you hope to achieve. It’s supposed to be a way to focus your positive spiritual energy to send out into the universe and there are tons of classes, videos, and websites about how to create effective ones. Sound stupid? It is.

If creating a vision board were just part of a process of focusing your personal attention on the goals you hoped to achieve, it’d be a different story. Of course positive thinking is a good thing, but it’s important to be realistic as well. Setting realistic goals and focusing on them, staying as positive as you can be, these things certainly help you from falling into a pit of despair when times get tough or when you need to make some extra effort in life. For some people, I’m sure that’s all there is to it, but for many others, they actually look at this as magic that can just make everything they dream of come true and that’s pretty harmful when real success requires effort.

Of course, I’m probably wasting my breath here (or energy, I guess). There will always be people looking for some secret, some wise guru, some prophet, or some easy way out of their problems and into health, wealth, and happiness. Unfortunately, writing a book about how you just have to work hard and be pretty lucky in life probably wouldn’t sell very well…

Clearly the true secret to easy success is to come up with fanciful, simple to perform nonsense that offers convenient solutions and then get a bunch of people to believe it.